Do I need a suction strainer for my new pump?

by Jim Robinson
March 23, 2015
Viking Lid-Ease Strainers

Would this nail have brought down your process?


For all new VIKING PUMP positive displacement pump package and CRANE centrifugal pump package proposals we submit – there will be a separate line item for a recommended suction strainer.

Below are the primary reasons:


VIKING internal gear PD pumps have tight strict internal clearances and if the inlet fluid could contain a high particulate concentration from pipe debris or fluid hardening that may cause restriction in pump clearances specified causing excessive heat and potential cavitation that could cause short pump life and the downtime to inspect and repair pump may be cost prohibitive to your production requirement. A suction strainer is a relatively inexpensive item compared to cost of new or repaired pump and should be considered as an insurance investment. Centrifugal pumps that have enclosed trimmed impellers can also see blockage with potential same outcome from cavitation or short pump life from heat bearing failure. An inlet suction basket strainer or Y-strainer can be supplied with several filter mesh liners for specific size particulate seen. If your fluid has high particulate due to fluid composition then a no mesh basket can be supplied with approximate 3/16” perforated basket. Look at your cost of lost production time or pump repair time and you will see the minimal cost of a suction strainer is justified.


Many fluids may be harmed from pipe scale seen on inlet of pump or from the pump bushings or other internal pump parts that contain carbon or iron. Again, an inlet pump strainer will protect your fluid from these damaging materials.


  1. Some fluids such as asphalt or sodium silicate for examples that require heat to transfer fluid properly may have a cold initial start-up that will cause fluid to solidify that will cause your pump to cavitate at start up damaging bushings, restrict pump clearances causing excessive heat and cause premature pump failure. These fluids typically use or require a no mesh or perforated basket strainer.

VIKING PUMP has partnered with EATON STRAINERS for inlet simplex and duplex strainers with many different materials of construction and port configurations. See link for more information.

VIKING LIDEASE strainers is a proven simplex suction strainer supplied for many years has an easy opening cover is another option. See link for more information.

If your production process cannot allow downtime to clean or replace internal strainer baskets then the EATON duplex strainer is best recommended option.

If you consider your fluid a clean fluid and inlet piping not an issue then a suction strainer may not be needed.

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